smoked trout linguine

trout linguine plated up It has been far too long between drinks, dear friends. Or, perhaps, the time it has taken for this post to appear is due to the distance between drinks being far too short. And when the distance between drinks (both of the physical and metaphorical straint) is being punctuated with dinners out, dinners in, weddings, celebrations, commiserations, sickness, health and rain, all I really want to do is sit. Big, fat bowl of pasta in one hand, fork in the other. Pepper and a squeeze of freshly cut lemon at the ready, where possible. Even better if said pasta involves a certain honey smoked friend we have come to know as Mister Fish.

the pasta
lemon zest pasta

This pasta is wonderfully light in flavour, despite the richness of the smoked trout, the cream and the cheese. The family? They loved it. Over ate and then sat on the sofa watching that dancing show whilst clutching their stomachs. It does taste better when straight from the pot, as fresh pasta has a tendency to soak up all its surrounding goodness when fridge'd post-intermingling. Which is not necessarily a bad thing - I had this for lunch the next day and it was fan-tastic. A squeeze of lemon to freshen it up and a bit of salad on the side to counteract the cream's impact on my hips.

mister fish
the inimitable mister fish

smoked trout linguine

ingredients:

one recipe fresh lemon rind pasta
one honey smoked trout (250g)
knob of butter (thumb sized)
300ml fresh cream
50g fresco pecorino (cubed)
50g fromage blanc (crumbled)
half a bunch of chives
one lemon (for squeezing)
salt & pepper

method:

1. Make your pasta first. The rest can be done while it's hanging out to dry. Not making pasta? Well, I guess you could take it out of the packet at this stage. That would be a good start. It will not make you feel as accomplished, but it will do for now. Also, chop your chives. And your cheese. This will save you time (and ensuing panic later).

naked mister trout
prep at the beginning: a lifesaver!

2. Have you dealt with a whole smoked fish before? Delightful isn't it? Well, sort of. Once you've wrangled the little mister (or is it a miss?) out of its vaccuum sealed pack, you'll have to rip the skin off and start removing the flesh. Easiest way to do it? Slide your fingers down the middle and then slowly ease the flesh off the bones, watching for any that may come off with the meat. You'll be able to remove these later when pulling the fish apart.

mister trout
separating the flesh from the bones

3. So go on! Get all oily and fishy smelling. Pull that sucker apart! Do not (as I may have done) absentmindedly answer your phone during this task. It will smell like fish for a while. And by a while, I mean a week.

naked mister trout
mister trout loses his backbone

4. So here is the part where you get saucy. Put your butter and cream in a pot that is big enough to hold all your fish plus the pasta. Let the butter melt into the cream. Mmmmm, yellow specked fatty dairy produce.

mister fish gets saucy
mister fish gets saucy with the cream

5. Now toss your fish into the cream and heat gently. The idea here is to allow the smoky, fishy flavours to infuse into the cream. Altogether now, "Ahhhhhh!"

happy boiling pasta
pasta boiling away happily

6. Is your pasta cooking? Well the time is now! Lotsa boiling salted water. I use a deep frying basket, because it's just easier that way. Pasta in basket, basket in water, a swirl with the chopsticks and voila! 30 seconds later, it can be drained and tipped into a lightly olive oiled dish in one quick movement. Do this in batches.

happy boiling pasta
cheesy goodness being added

7. While you're cooking the pasta (or immediately after if this is too tricky) toss the cubes of pecorino into the creamy mix and stir til they melt in. This will thicken the creamy sauce, without making it too cheesy and stringy.

8. Melted goodness? Check! Cooked pasta? Check! All that needs to be done now is a quick season (salt and pepper shakers ahoy!) and a swift handful of chives into the cream mixture.

happy cooked pasta
pasta's done. now where's that fish...

9. Toss the (now cooked) pasta into the creamy sauce mix and stir it around happily. There will only be enough "sauce" to just coat the pasta. So keep tossing til each strand is well coated.

10. All you need to do now is serve it. Crumble your fromage blanc over the top. A good squeeze of lemon over the top of each serve (just before eating) really lifts the flavour from "yeah quite good" to "wahoo! party in my mouth!" Loveit.

happy cooked pasta
lick your lips, help your hips!

recipe notes:

Use a regular, store bought fresh or dried pasta if you wish. You won't get that wonderful multi-levelled "lemon juice freshness and then lemon zest undertone" flavour, but it will still be lovely and tasty.

Use any smoked pink fish with this dish. I happened to have a honey smoked trout on had, but have had equal amounts of success with a small smoked salmon (whole fish, not the funny supermarket packets).

Cheese varieties too confusing? A mozzerella will do nicely in place of the pecorino. It won't have as much bite, but will build the sauce in a similar fashion. Add some parmesan to it for flavour if you're going down this route. A crumbly fetta will do nicely in place of the fromage blanc.

3 bites more:

Simon said...

Whoa mama! That looks like a fantastic dish! It still amazes me that with a few good quality ingredients, you can produce works of culinary magic.

If it wasn't for all the hard work making the pasta, I'd so buy a pasta machine! :)

FFichiban said...

You're a monster XP poor Mr Fish never stood a chance! You should at least give me the pasta and his remains so I can give him a good home ^^!

shez said...

Simon: isn't it great when simple = fantastic? i find pasta making therapeutic. so much so that i make a batch every weekend now. (it's also good for the arms...) only problem being that i'm now always runnign out of flour!

FFichiban: RARRRGH! *chomp*

Post a Comment